Thornton mayor seeks protection order against political satirist – FOX 31 Denver

THORNTON, Colo. (KDVR) — Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann is seeking a permanent protective order against a man he says is one of his biggest supporters.

“Until Jan Kulmann is re-elected mayor, until we make Thornton the most MAGA city in Colorado, I’m not going to stop (supporting her),” Danny Kulmann said in an interview with Problem Solvers outside the Adams County Justice Center. .

“Danny Kulmann” is a Make American Great Again character created by Thornton resident Dariush Namazi.

Thornton satirist dons MAGA cap in character

Since June 3, Namazi has been attending Thornton city events dressed in a red T-shirt reading “#JANK” while donning a red MAGA baseball cap while recording selfies of himself trying to talk to the mayor. and other city officials.

At a Pride event on June 9 in Thornton, Namazi recorded himself as “Danny Kullman” and asked the mayor, “How are we making Thornton great today? Jan, how do you feel about all these people? trans around kids?

At another city event in a Thornton park, Namazi walked up to the mayor’s tent and recorded himself as “Danny Kulmann,” where he once again mentioned transgender people. He asked the mayor: “How do you feel about trans children? Do you feel like we’re doing enough to stop the trans community?”

Dariush Namazi as “Danny Kulmann” (left) and, right, Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann leaves the Adams County courthouse on July 5, 2023 (KDVR)

Response from Mayor Kulmann

Kulmann does not directly respond to Namazi’s questions, but she did refer to her behavior at the end of the public comment section of a June 13 city council meeting, where she was recorded saying the following:

“I need to warn everyone about a community member with a fake online profile. This person is using my last name to post hateful information online. He has harassed me at multiple city events posting this hate openly on my page and messaging me privately.

I want to be very clear: what this man is saying is wrong. He is purposely making statements that hurt people based on their beliefs and claiming they are mine. They are not.

He doesn’t speak for me. He harassed the members at Thorntonfest, he harassed me at the Ward 1 ice cream party. He harassed me as I was leaving our Pride festival. He impersonated a hate filled protest at another event in the county and in fact his behavior and theatrics continue to turn aggressive to the point where I don’t feel comfortable taking my daughter to city events.

And if you know him, I ask you for help. I’m asking for your help to stop it, and to my fellow elected officials, I’m asking for your help as well. This is something that neither of us should tolerate and we should support each other when it comes to feeling safe in public.”

Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann

Mayor Kulmann was likely referring to District 2 candidate Roberta Ayala. Namazi’s wife is a volunteer for Ayala’s campaign, and Namazi himself once handed out campaign fliers door-to-door. But he has since stopped volunteering for Ayala after assuming the persona of Danny Kulmann.

When the troubleshooters asked Ayala if she thought Namazi was harassing or harassing the mayor, she replied, “I haven’t seen any evidence of that.”

When asked if he thought Namazi should stop acting like Danny Kulmann, he replied:
“It’s not something I would personally do for activism. It is his choice. It is the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment right now.”

Lawyer Argues Protection Order Would Violate 1A

On June 22, Mayor Kulmann filed for a temporary protective order ordering Dariush Namazi/Danny Kulmann to stay at least 15 feet away from her, writing, “She has asked you to stay away from her, to let to contact her and to stop filming her. but she refuses to do it. When she asks him to back off, he moves closer to her. Her behavior has been escalating in the last two weeks, and at one event, she bumped into me.”

On July 5, an Adams County judge granted the mayor an extension of the protective order until July 18 so Kulmann could obtain police body camera video, which her lawyer says will prove she is victim of bullying and stalking.

Namazi’s attorney is Steven Zansberg, known for representing FOX31 and other media outlets in cases involving the First Amendment, open meeting laws, and transparency issues with law enforcement and government agencies.

Zansberg has filed a motion to immediately dismiss the protection order, saying it is an unlawful act of prior restraint that seeks to silence the words of a political activist.

Satirical character: ‘I would never harass or harass anyone’

Namazi agreed to speak to FOX31 after the court hearing on July 5, but only after changing into his Danny Kulmann persona.

He told Problem Solvers, “Jan Kullman, she has a right not to know about the voters she doesn’t want to know about. If she wants to hear from people who support her, great. If she doesn’t want to hear from someone that she says she is a troublemaker, then that person’s voice should be silenced.”

When asked if he has harassed or harassed the mayor, Namazi responded as Danny Kulmann: “I would never harass or harass anyone. I am a big supporter of Jan Kulmann, and to say that would be out of line.”

Namazi has created a Facebook page as Danny Kulmann. His posts satirically suggest he agrees with the mayor’s previous decisions to support fracking near Thornton schools, or her successful effort to remove a Democratic councilwoman who was accused of living out of district and help replace her. with a Republican councilor.

When Kulmanm appeared in court on July 5, he had a police escort. He refused to speak to FOX31 after the hearing on the advice of his lawyer, who asked him to wait until a judge decides on July 18 whether the protection order is permanent.

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Raven Asher

Hey there, I'm Raven Asher, a writer and blogger currently studying at McMaster University. My passion lies in arts and culture, and I love exploring and sharing my thoughts on different aspects of this field through my writing. I've been fortunate enough to have my articles featured on several blogs and news websites, which has allowed me to connect with readers from all over the world. Apart from writing, I'm also an avid traveler, and I love experiencing different cultures and learning new things. Join me on my journey as I explore the world and share my insights on everything art and culture!

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